Part 2: Creo and “AnyMode Modeling”<< Part 1
There is a significant difference between using a parametric (history-based) system as your primary design tool and using a direct modeling (history-free) system as your primary design tool. These two technologies offer completely different methodologies and experiences for product development. Certainly a company that has standardized on parametric modeling may get value from the flexibility of direct editing in certain areas of the process, but if they have chosen the history-tree to be the engineering master (document of record), the history-tree needs to remain the master. If, on the other hand, a company chooses direct modeling as their primary design tool and understands geometry to be the engineering master, geometry needs to remain the master.
With Creo, I don't think PTC is somehow attempting to mix these two in some convoluted way, inevitably leading to a compromise in both methods and data. On the contrary, PTC is providing powerful purpose built solutions, tied together through the common data model.
For the company that has chosen to standardize on a parametric history-based solution, Creo provides a high-end purpose-built no compromise parametric modeling app AND a complimentary purpose built direct modeling app. This particular direct modeling app provides an option to track direct edits into the common data model. These records can then be accessed and consumed by a parametric app that can make sense of them as it relates to the ordered feature tree. The user of the parametric app is given a choice to accept or reject modifications. If accepted, the edits will be reflected appropriately in the tree. This direct app can be used in a parametric environment to allow infrequent users, or perhaps even non-CAD users of the parametric app to more easily participate in the design process. This capability makes it possible to take a fully parametric model into a much simpler direct environment, make edits as necessary, then bring it back into the parametric environment with NO data loss – maintaining the engineering master. I’ve heard some call it “round tripping” (P>D>P: Parametric>Direct>Parametric). PTC’s round trip is made possible via the common data model and is very unique. It is of course important to understand process to determine where this type of workflow makes sense, but when and where it does, Creo can support it.
With Creo, PTC is also providing the best most powerful direct modeling app on the market that is capable of supporting complete art-to-part. For companies that chose direct modeling as their primary design tool, and geometry as their master, Creo provides the best, no compromise solution. This app comes with a synchronous parametric solver when firm design intent is needed. These customers can also take advantage of the parametric app as needed if and when there are circumstances that are well served with the parent/child relationship of parametric modeling. Via the CDM, the resulting geometry can quickly and easily be incorporated into the direct design environment and carried forward as native data.Part 3